This weekend, I had the opportunity to get in touch with many of my guy friends. Oddly enough, most of my girls live close to me and it’s only on holidays where I get to see my closer male friends who come back into town. Though we keep in-touch over messaging and phone, it still doesn’t replace that face-to-face contact. More to this, is that I wanted to run some things over discreetly with them, such that I also needed to be able to see their facial reactions and gauge changes in body posture and voice intonation. Now suffice to say, it’s not like I’m some psychology expert, but anyone who communicates regularly with people know that being able to see those factors enhances our ability to detect and sense otherwise undetectable things through other forms of communication.
This weekend, having 4 days off (today’s the last day, BOO) – my goal was to collect some ideas from the guy’s about their perceptions of menstruation, or rather, perhaps demystify some of the things guys think or say about menstruation or surrounding topics. Mind you, this isn’t a collection of every “view” of menstruation of all males, but only through contact with a few of my guy friends who “dared” to speak to me about such subjects. To be honest, when I gave them feedback on their statements, it was probably more detail than they were ever hoping for. However, having an opportunity for open dialogue is the start to end the taboo on menstruation, for males and females. If we can’t talk about it, then menstrual negativity is going to perpetuate for years to come. The following is a few of the dialogues I had between my various friends.
“Girls use tampons on their period”
Yes and no. Yes, some girls DO use tampons for their periods. However, ‘tampon’ is not an interchangeable word and only describes one, of the many forms of feminine hygiene products. A tampon is usually a cylindrical piece of cotton or other synthetic materials which is inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. Other notable menstrual protection include disposable pads, cloth pads, menstrual cups, sea sponges, etc. Furthermore, there ARE also women who enjoy free-bleeding and as long as that works with their lifestyle and is considerate of sanitation to those around them, then that’s great!
“She’s angry, it must be that-time-of-month”
I have to say, that’s a pretty nasty statement to make and if you’ve tried that with a less-than-humoured girl, it might result in some kicks to the nuts. Though there are times that PMS may lead to irritability, anger or emotional state changes in a woman, it does not mean her period is around the corner. I believe in 2 things regarding this. 1) Women should not be able to use their period/PMS as an excuse for inappropriate behaviour, 2) Men should not use periods/PMS as a means of attacking a woman’s behaviour. With that said, there have been many articles written by men that essentially says, “PMS is not a valid excuse” and since that would otherwise ruin my point that it’s not coming from the viewpoint of a woman – you can reference an article written by a lady here concerning the topic: PMS is no excuse for acting like a bitch – we should recognize that hormonal fluctuations during a menstrual cycle may be a factor of sharply changing behaviour, but not allow it to justify disrespect. Hell, even if it really is PMS or menstrual temper I can almost guarantee you’d be better off not to point it out, unless you can do it in fashion without throwing oil in the fire.
“The only time that I like knowing she got her period is when I’m worried she’s pregnant”
Well, the sigh of relief may be for both parties I suppose in this case. Menstruation however, is something to love and appreciate. Though I know some of my girls have waited in angst for their period to arrive when they had some “oopsies” – as guys, we should consider that normal menstrual cycle means our partner’s body is functioning well (most of the time). What’s better than your loved ones being healthy? Also, while periods are known to wreak havoc, there are also women out there who experienced heightened libidos are really want their sex! Which leads me onto the next point…
“I hate when her period comes! Means no sex for a week”
Menstrual sex is a personal choice and between the involved participants. Not all girls reject sex during her period. In fact, there are many couples who enjoy menstrual sex. Menstrual sex can be pretty cool, think of all the free lube! As long as you are practicing safe-sex or your partner is healthy, menstrual sex doesn’t pose any significant risks. For those who may be less adventurous with penetrative sex, oral sex or just some sensual time together can just be as fulfilling. After all, they didn’t make sex toys for no reason 😛
“I’m always afraid she’s hurt”
It took me a while figuring this one out because I thought he was talking about cramps. But it turns out that for us guys, we associate “bleeding” (or blood) with pain or injury. True enough, if any part of my body began to bleed, I’d probably freak out. Menstruation though is a normal biological function, so “bleeding” for women isn’t necessarily a sign of injury or pain. Sexual stimulation in/around her vagina during this time isn’t going to hurt her unless she has other complexities. Even if she’s feeling some pain from cramps, a good ol’ orgasm can actually wisp that away pretty quickly!
“Menstrual blood is dangerous”
Menstrual blood is only as dangerous as normal blood contact would be. An otherwise healthy individual without transmittable diseases would not have any major dangers. However, certainly menstrual flow that is expelled from the body is still considered bio-hazardous and may contain bacteria or other forms of germs, but it probably won’t kill you or anything if you come in regular contact with it. If the blood is dried, that’s even a lesser concern as exposure to open air for a period of time already cause major bacterial forms to die. If you’re in a monogamous and know thoroughly the healthiness of your partner, the likelihood of dying in a fiery car crash is probably much higher than a deadly illness arriving from sexual contact from menstrual flow.
“I love being able to ejaculate in my girlfriend when she’s on her period because it’s safe”
I had to ask him what he meant by “safe” – he meant that he’s safe from getting his girlfriend knocked up. I had to break it to him that while conceiving while menstruating is low, it’s also not impossible as conceiving during menstruation has been known to happen. It is quite possible for sperm to stay alive within an optimal environment within the vagina, meaning that pregnancy can occur just before/after active menstruation. Also bleeding may potentially be mistaken as full out menses which may mean fertilization is still possible. If conceiving a child isn’t in your line of responsibilities at the moment (or never), then practicing safe-sex at ANY time is necessary.
“I don’t get it. How can she lose so much blood regularly without dying?”
With the number of pads and tampons that are used and the way they appear when they’re saturated, it may appear there’s a lot of blood loss. The reality is that the amount of menstrual flow per period is not that great (sans medical conditions). At an “upper estimate” of 9 tbsp of menstrual flow per period, it’s not exactly cause for concern of massive blood loss. According to my very quick research, the body begins to have adverse medical reaction at 15% of total blood loss. Given that the human body contains about 5 litres of blood, 9 tbsp is about 0.133 litres of blood – or about 2.66% per period. What is necessary to note is that during menstruation, “flow” that is lost is not entirely composed of blood alone. Barring any medical conditions, a normal menstrual cycle isn’t going to drain your girlfriend’s blood supply low!
“Does she have to change her tampon every time she pees?”
Nope, not unless she wants to or needs to. The urethra and vagina are two different holes (I’d be impressed if you could get your penis in her urethra) and furthermore, most girls usually will hold/tuck the string while peeing to avoid it getting wet. Others just simply let nature take its course and then using some toilet paper to mop up the tampon string dry in case it gets wet. Some girls just don’t care at all, because that’s what underwear is for anyway! It’s like magic to guys, but just with a bit of a tug, a girl can check whether her tampon needs to be changed. If it comes out easily, then it’s all saturated and needs to be changed. If there is resistance, then the tampon is still usable, with the exception that her: 1) period is over, 2) she wants to change products, or 3) her tampon has been in for/nearing 8 hours.
“She doesn’t talk to me about her period”
Let’s face it, most guys don’t really want to hear about girls periods, so therefore, girls have been programmed not to divulge anything about it. Right from Wikipedia sources, “Studies have shown nearly all girls in the USA believe that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, and more than one-third of the girls did not believe that it was appropriate to discuss menstruation with their fathers. The basis of many conduct norms and communication about menstruation in western industrial societies is the belief that menstruation should remain hidden.” That’s not to say I’ve never met girls who’ve approached the topic of menstruation with me openly (without knowledge of my interest), but in general, I really have to be the one to broach on the topic and show that I’m “accepting” to converse about it before they come comfortable with speaking about it. Unless the girl is particularly open with her bodily functions or that the relationship has progressed to an intimate level, it’s likely you will have to be proactive and show her that she can speak to you about such ‘private’ matters. It might not even be that she doesn’t want you to know, but that menstruation is generally regarded with shame and is indecent to talk about, particularly with a male. If you two ever plan on moving forward with a successful relationship, talking about menstruation is probably to least of challenges.
“I’m so grossed out by periods”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Honestly, I find semen much more repulsive if anything. The menstrual cycle and the female anatomy is so beautiful. I can only hope to educate you about menstruation to help you change your mind about it, but I’m not going to try to turn a stone into gold.
“Why does she like to ask me to buy her pads/tampons?”
I don’t think most girls “like” asking you to buy it, in fact, most do it only when they really need to, like when they’re clumped over on the couch. Because pads/tampons are very personal choices, most women like to shop for it themselves. However, there are also guys I know who get it as part of their grocery list, but I don’t it’s a really ‘unique’ thing. She has every right to ask you if you guys are involved in a committed relationship and if she has ever bought anything for you in your life, then she can expect you to buy this for her. As long as she equips you with enough information to buy it, it should be fair game. For some women, it can be used as a ‘test’ to see if you’re man enough to do it or they don’t really think anything of it. You’re out getting those apples anyway, why not a box of tampons or a pack of pads?
“It’s amazing, how does she even keep track of how often to change or when it gets full?”
With pads it’s fairly simple, because a visual inspection will allow a girl to know whether her pad is getting full or not. Also, as pads get saturated, the pad will usually become heavier and there may be a damp feeling. With tampons, as I explained above, usually a quick “tug test” will already reveal whether changing is required. For most girls though, it’s just a matter of timed washroom breaks to do a check-up. Some girls may change ahead of time if they’re planning travel which does not give them accessibility to washrooms. I know with most of my girls, they opt to change later when they’re at home as they can get to a washroom any time. However, if they’re heading for a several hour road trip they change before they leave the house or double-up protection. Despite a girl being an expert on her body and diligent on her feminine hygiene needs, leaks may sometimes still happen and that’s ok. It’s like sneezing. Try as you might, but doesn’t stop it from coming out!
“Girls can’t swim on their periods”
Whether the girl ‘can’ swim is subjective on her own skill, not whether she has her period or not. However, if you’re talking about methods to control menstrual flow, they can opt to use internal forms of feminine hygiene, as pads would be out of the question. Feminine products worn within the vagina will offer a chance for the girl to swim while maintaining hygiene for herself and other swimmers. If a girl knows how to swim and doesn’t have debilitating menstrual pains, swimming is great exercise which may help alleviate cramps and maintain a healthy body overall. I do know however, that Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] usually frowns upon swimming while menstruating (because the body is considered ‘weak’ during that time).
“Girls get their period every 28 days”
This is something I admit that I was pretty ignorant about until I started learning about menstruation from female experiences and stories. To me, the “books” tell you that menstrual cycles are 28 days in length, however, that is not true for many women as bodies aren’t clockworks. Many of the girls I’ve dated before just happened to have a fairly regular cycle every month, but even tracking with bebe for the past 2 years I’ve known her, I can say for sure almost every month she has a different monthly cycle. While she’s perfectly healthy, it does come down to the fact that women do not always have exact 28-day cycles, but rather, vary between 21-35 days and whether or not a woman falls within a 28-day cycle doesn’t necessarily represent overall health. Because I happened to date girls who fell in the 26-29 day ranges, it was awkward for me to start tracking bebe’s to find that hers was much longer (lucky her, unlucky me… LOL). I know a few of my girls don’t really track at all and tell me they just “feel it” when it’s about to come! That’s really cool 🙂
“The washroom stinks when she’s on her period”
I suppose it’s something you really need to bring up with her. Dried menstrual flow does have an odour but is not easily detectable. I know girls who use “open” trash bins who visibly have wrapped tampons and pads in it and the smell is hardly obvious. Unless the girl has very rancid menstrual flow odour, it should not be very strong and only detectable if you plan on sticking your nose in the trash. What makes menstrual flow smell is actually when it comes in contact with open air and begins to fester bacteria. When the bacteria is trying living/decomposing the menstrual flow and pad, that is what emits the stench, not so much the actual flow itself. Proper sanitary practices should already be sufficient to stem the smell. I’ve been to my girl’s house before who hadn’t emptied the trash for 3 weeks and she had pads piled to the top and still the air was pretty clean. I’d broach lightly on the topic with her since it’s rather insulting to be told her menstrual flow smells, but rather, talk about maintaining welcoming environment for guests who use the bathroom as a softer approach.
It has definitely been a while since I’ve had the time to write this much! Hope this helps shed some light on what your typical (which I’m not) guys think about periods. I’m glad they offered me an opportunity to trade what I know about menstruation for their personal growth and also that I could share it with the world-at-large here. It’ll also help the girls see things through our eyes and that sometimes we just don’t know any better. Furthermore, I grew up in a conservative family meaning menstruation wasn’t talked about much. Lucky for me I didn’t run into a bunch of misinformation communicated to me from my peers, but certainly I can see why it happens when boys aren’t educated properly about menstruation. They begin to pick up things from their friends and see/hear negativity about periods from other sources. Best to teach them at an age-appropriate level so they develop respect for the female anatomy and a beautiful & natural bodily process!
So I’ve always prided myself on being one of those guys that can handle a PMS-situation. With all my ex’s, whenever they were in a bad mood or whatnot, I’d always be able to make the situation feel right or at least “correct” those mood-swings positively. Yesterday was proof that apparently as much as I’ve been able to do wonders with my ex’s, it is not the case for bebe, LOL. Last night was our date night and we had spent a lot of time doing what most people would see as great “couples” activities. First, we went and ran some errands together for her brothers, then we picked up 2 of her friends at home and from a mall. Then we proceeded to go get some bubble tea and we spent a few hours at the place playing cards with those friends.
I was rather happy yesterday, because she’s letting me meet her friends more and more. Out of her group of closest friends, I’ve met 4 of the 5 already – so that makes me very happy because it was always hard for her to introduce me to them. Although I have yet to be introduced as her boyfriend, it’s nice enough just to meet them so they know of my presence in her life. We played cards for quite a while, got a new snack to go along with it and it was nice to see bebe talk to her friends and just “be her.” She asked if I wanted to go, but I saw she seemed to be enjoying playing cards and being with her friends, so I said I didn’t need to go. When bebe went to the washroom, her friends were all “teasing” me and they were like, “Oh, do you want to leave? We will help you…” and when bebe came back, they were telling us it’s ok to go, that we should go shop or whatever, but by then, the movie we had planned on attending was < 1 hour away, meaning we really had no time to effectively do anything. Driving to one of the other major malls (because the one closest to us was closing in 20 minutes) would take a good 15 minutes, which means we’d spend 30 minutes two-way just traveling, so it didn’t seem time-efficient.
I guess our “problem” occurred when both bebe and I were trying to be nice to each other, LOL. I was trying to be nice and not be like I’m pulling bebe away from her friends just because we’re ‘together’ and she was being nice to me by thinking I didn’t want to be the one saying I wanted to leave and be rude, so she kept on asking me if I wanted to go. Truth be told, I actually enjoyed playing cards with her friends, so I really wasn’t just “outwardly being nice” – my intents were genuine that I liked sitting there to do things with her friends. So here is where the clash came in as to her actually wanting to leave because she was getting bored, but I was also trying to be nice/enjoying her friend’s company that I didn’t want to drag her away. I suppose we need to ‘learn’ each others hinting more, haha… because I had thought she thought I was bored and wanted to leave, meanwhile, she was the one who wanted to leave and I didn’t clue into it… tsk tsk!
So we left for the movies and I could tell she wasn’t all too happy. Understandably, she’s been bored for a while just sitting there and playing cards with her friends and I was also fairly quiet in not wanting to try to force conversations in, but still, that shouldn’t warrant me be like I did something terribly wrong though. During the movie, I kept to my side to give her that personal space, because as we all know (lol), how much she likes her “personal space.” – I didn’t bother trying anything with her today because she just didn’t seem like she was in-the-mood. Prior to me picking up her friends, she seemed very cheery with me and stuff, so I guess it was something “inappropriate” I said while we were playing cards that didn’t make her very happy. Again, she never can tell me what the problem is, it’s sometimes frustrating because she doesn’t even seem to understand herself. It seems like there’s these “magical problems” that happen that she can’t define, making a solution to it hard as well.
She was hungry (during) and after the movie, so we proceeded to have dinner. We had some decent conversations at the table, but I could tell she still wasn’t very engaged with me today. I tried to make her day better, cheer her up, but it was clearly not working out. It seemed like no matter what I did or said, it was ‘wrong’ – even despite my best efforts to make the night better. I guess sometimes when it comes to that, she’s not very cooperative… whenever I ask her if I can do anything to make the night better, I never get a response I can act on.. it’s always a closed-end response where I can’t really do anything about it. Suffice to say, that’s just her and I guess if it was my choice to like her, I have to live with it. I sometimes wish she could express herself in a way that it allows me to learn what I can do for her, because it doesn’t give me an opportunity to gauge her feelings & interact with them, so whenever I don’t understand her, I’m not sure if she has a right to actually say I “don’t understand her” since she CLOSES those opportunities for when I do try to understand her.
So as our main-course ended, I decided to shuffle over to the bench-side with her since we sat across from each other. I really really disliked the fact she sat so far from me. I mean sure, the “feel” and the “mood” definitely wasn’t here for the night and was definitely disheartening and saddening, but it has been so long where she’s actually sat that far away from me it was bordering the line of worry, anger and stress. Sure, the night didn’t “go the way we wanted to” – but to sit almost a PERSON of space apart was just too much for me to handle. Every time I moved closer, she’d shuffle a bit farther and I just got so annoyed I pulled her close to me. I even had to make a verbal statement about it and really, I shouldn’t need to do that. When I hold her against me, it feels so natural… but she has yet to act on her natural bodily response either. Sometimes I ask myself, is it better to hold on to her and let her get used to my touch on her or is it better to not hold her once I feel the discomfort so that way she doesn’t feel trapped. It’s such a hard question as to which is “right” since BOTH have its merits.
At some point within our conversation, I jokingly touched on whether I didn’t seem to be able to make her happy tonight was because she was moody and “had PMS” and of course most women would respond, “NO, don’t blame PMS.” – but even tonight, she had thought that was it actually PMS as well, because there’s just “so many little things” that bugged her she couldn’t quite put her finger on it… and it seemed like she fluctuated from being unhappy and happy throughout the day randomly. The night wasn’t all bad and it wasn’t all ingenuity either because her smiles to me were all still very sweet. Maybe because I thought I could “handle PMS well” but apparently it’s a whole different monster when it comes to bebe, because I just couldn’t cheer her up. It got to around 10PM and I asked her if she wanted to go back, but she actually didn’t yet, despite the foul mood. I decided to take her on a joy-ride then, just to look at houses, be in the car and listen to music. I can’t even believe I did that given the crazy gas prices right now, but furthering the point that I’d do almost anything for her. We drove around for about 40 minutes before I decided I needed a place to just park and rest. It was nearing 11PM and I was getting drained and because I was just so stressed out over the day that it was more emotional exhaustion more than physical one.
As we sat there, we just had some small talk. All of a sudden, she goes quiet probably to think about what she’s going to say, then says asked me if I “wanted to know what she thinks about this relationship”… I literally FROZE when she says that. I said let me think about whether I wanted to know and I could already feel my pulse/heart rate pumping – not only that, but I was feeling short-of-breath. I had to step outside because it was cool and I could regain my composure, thoughts and just my sanity. I got back into the car and told her I’d listen… there was no doubt that my mind raced, heart pounded and couldn’t breath throughout the entire conversation. It wasn’t anything bad, suffice to say, wouldn’t say it was anything good either. I mean it’s great we can sit and talk about the relationship, but wish we could sit and talk about the GOOD things in our relationships, not just her “discomforts” – but I did get to explain myself and my own feelings – things I don’t share with anyone, not even on this blog. The reason why I had such a big reaction was because of the night’s incident (with the PMS and all… lol) along with the way she “asked” if I wanted to know (since you don’t ‘ask’ when you tell people good things, you just blurt it out) made me feel as if it was another one of those “dead end” conversations. I was so tired from the night that when we finished chatting, I just wanted to hold her hand and take a short nap. She didn’t let me hold her hands, SIGH… so I held on to the back of her hand while I tried to take a snooze, not that I could because of all the worry. At least we did come to the “agreement” that we think it was mostly PMS which brought about the day’s negativity, because ever since she returned from Malaysia to Canada, things have been doing really well for us and our “direction” in the relationship is definitely there. I hope one day SOON when bebe and I had a solid relationship foundation, I can tell her the truth about how I kept tabs on her 😛 As much as she tried to emphasize my loyalty and niceness to her, we both know that’s not enough to lay the groundwork for a good relationship, so it was still a bit dejecting to know she still can’t quite “feel” it with me.
Let’s just say for the sake of an “example” I had a choice between forcing her to be with me, even though she doesn’t truly want to – or if I just let her go. Of course there are those who say the whole, “If you love her enough, you will let her go.” – well let me tell you this, that’s retarded. I suppose we’re all entitled to our own opinions, but it’s “easier said, than done” to let someone go who you truly love, it’s just downright stupid when I hear that sometimes. Call me greedy, but I think I’d still go for option 1. Why? Because a lot of couples who decided to get into a relationship even though one side was not fully happy. This usually occurs when “oopsies” happens with unexpected pregnancies or when people are forced into a marriage circumstance (arranged marriages) or even mail-order brides, people who never once thought about being together, ended up being together, but lived happily-ever-after. Likewise, even if I were to be so greedy as to force bebe to stay with me, she may very well end up being more happy than she ever expected. Sounds like a fairytale, but if there’s anyone who can do it, I believe in myself that I’m capable of that 😛 Of course the BEST alternative would she actually willingly be with me and feel that spark, haha. The way I feel about her is so deep and I’d actually be willing to (Chinese Astrology) 轉運 and give up 5 years of my life just to be with bebe. After all, would I want to live my life unhappily without bebe, or would I rather live 5 years less and be happy with her? I think the decision is pretty obvious for me… that’s how much I love her.
We spent a lot of time expressing our own thoughts about how we view the relationship and I mean deep down, I’m not ignorant to believe that this will relationship will for sure work out, but there’s no doubt I’d want it to work out… and that I’m willing to devote what it takes to win her over. Even though “time” is not exactly on my side, I’ve told myself that I refuse to give up on her and even though I’d normally try to push the relationship forward or whatever, I’m going to just give her that time she needs and that I’m not going to “set a deadline.” As she mentioned her talking to her friends about how she should definitely try to bring those feelings to surface about me, obviously if she’s tried and still doesn’t work out then it’s just not happening. Of course we’ve only been “trying hard” for the past 2 months, so that still gives us lots of ‘testing’ and ‘getting to know each other’ time… I’m not sure if she set a particular date/length of time where she thinks that’s enough time and it is/is not working out (and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to know), because then it doesn’t give us constraints to time – otherwise we’d constantly be rushing rather than being realistic – I suppose we’ll just let time take its course while we do our best to make this relationship work. The GOOD thing is that if our relationship works out, seriously NOTHING will separate us, because we’ve gone through so much that we’d both be impervious, given all the obstacles we’ve had to go through to get to a great place.
I’m not sure how I felt last night. Even when I dropped her off, I’m not sure what I should’ve done. We usually hug each other before we go for the night, but I didn’t even bother positioning myself or asking for one, just didn’t feel right and I’m not sure whether I did it for me or did it for her. I mean quite notably, I wasn’t exactly happy or anything and she wasn’t very happy either – so maybe that’s why. I was kind of upset with how things turned out so I just didn’t feel very huggable. At the same time, I’m also not sure if SHE wanted to be hugged given all the things we talked about. I felt so empty when I went home, like the night wasn’t complete. I got to hold her a lot tonight, but it didn’t feel the same. I mean, I now know I’ve been defeated by PMS – it has never been that bad on me before, I’ve always been able to control PMS on my girls pretty well and have always done the right thing that could help them smile and be happy. I guess I just shouldn’t hold the night against bebe, I mean if PMS is really the culprit, then we’ll be ok once her period starts!
I got home at around 1:30AM after dropping her off and this has been the first time I’ve been so tired that on my drive home, my eyes were READY to close. I got home safely and just plopped on my bed and went to sleep. However, the repercussions to the night were rough. This morning when I woke up, I went to the washroom to puke. There was really ‘nothing’ to puke out since last night’s food had already been entirely digested, the feelings were all the “sick to my stomach” feelings over the previous night. I don’t even know what I’d do without bebe in my life. I don’t want to go back to “searching for another half” because I’ve FOUND her… I just need to be able to keep her. She’s still young and that’s why she’s not “rushing”…. had she been say, 28 or something, then she might be a bit more rushing in this relationship, because that biological clock is ticking against her. We talked last night about how anyone can survive without another person, but the reality is I love bebe so much that I don’t know how I’d be able to go on life without her… Today has not started a good day, I feel exhausted even though I got plenty of sleep, I don’t feel like eating (and even when I do, I feel like barfing) and I can’t breath/concentrate. I just hope I get over this feeling soon, bebe gets over her PMS and both of us be POSITIVE again.
One thing I remind bebe is that all it takes is one incident for her to feel that spark. When, where and how… neither of us knows, but we shouldn’t just give up on it, but simply wait for that spark to happen – because it will. I pray… I pray…
I always debated whether or not to post this. No, this isn’t “new” at all, but I just thought it’d be too “common” for me to post this, but at the same time, being a blog on menstruation, how could I possibly not have this on my site? This letter made me chuckle, whether real or fake – it’s a pretty accurate description of their periods for some women.
This was a letter sent to Proctor and Gamble (P&G) regarding their “Have a Happy Period” imprint on their wings sticky adhesive.
Dear Mr. Thatcher,
I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core(tm) or Dri-Weave(tm) absorbency, I’d probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I’d certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favourite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can’t tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there’s a little F-16 in my pants.
Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from “the curse”? I’m guessing you haven’t. Well, my ‘time of the month’ is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I’ll be transformed into what my husband likes to call “an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.” Isn’t the human body amazing?
As Branch Manager in the Feminine-hygiene Division, you’ve no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers’ monthly visits from “Aunt Flo”. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behaviour. You surely realize it’s a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend’s testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey’s Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants… which brings me to the reason for my letter.
Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period”.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness – actual smiling, laughing happiness – is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you’re some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything “happy” about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don’t march down to the local Walgreen’s armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.
For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”, or are you just picking on us?
Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that’s a promise I will keep… Always.
😀 this is awesome!
I decided to plop some pictures into my previous post regarding PMS and Menstruation, added a bit more content and a bit of humour! As promised, the picture of what 9 tablespoons of menstrual flow looks like (lol, don’t worry – it’s just water) has been added. I’ve also had a spark of ingenuitiy (which rarely happens) to calculate how many tampons it would actually take to absorb one period worth of fluid! Cheers.
https://meninmenstruation.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/be-informed-know-the-difference-pms-and-periodmenstruation/ (Updated Jun 4/10 @ 5:46PM EST)
[Commenting has been disabled on this post since there’s no point]
Today, I’d like to take this opportunity to demystify the difference between PMS and menstruation. Often, both males and females use these two terms interchangeably, but not knowing that they mean a completely different thing. Rather than throw medical terminology or a dictionary definition to you, let me convey to you my understanding of PMS and menstruation, from a lay-person’s perspective. PMS is said to affect approx. 30% of menstruating women.
PMS, or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome covers a large scope of physical or emotional disturbances in a female before the arrival of menses. Symptoms of PMS include, but aren’t limited to, depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings.Insomnia, fatigue, aches, breast tenderness, bloating, cramps, constipation and headaches are common physical conditions which PMS-affected females may undergo. It should be known that not all women are affected by PMS. I should highlight that the “P” in “PMS” being pre means that these symptoms happen before menstruation, so therefore, the terms PMS and menstruation should not be used interchangeably.
PMS generally occurs after a female ovulates and ends either shortly before or when menstrual flow begins. More specifically, PMS symptoms are attributed to large fluctuations of hormones, most notably, progesterone released during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. As this phase comes to end, progesterone drops-off and the menstrual cycle comes to an end, resulting in menstruation (us flow-lover’s favourite time!!!) where endometrial blood is expelled from the body via the vagina. There is a more severe form of PMS called Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD, affecting approx. 3-8% of women. In general, both PMS and PMDD affect a woman’s quality-of-life, however, certain nutrition consumptions, stress-levels and predisposed factors may make PMS/PMDD more severe from one woman to another.
Menstruation is used to describe the beginning of a new menstrual cycle and usually lasts from 3 to 5 days. Menstruation is considered to fall under the “normal” range anywhere from 2 to 7 days. The uterine lining is formed upon every menstrual cycle and needs to be expelled from the body when conception has not occurred. At the start of every menstrual cycle, the uterine lining and decomposed egg exits the cervix, into the vagina and out of the female body. The flow which comes out of the body is often in the visible form of blood and/or clots (may or may not indicate health-issues). The amount of menstrual flow throughout actively menstruating days vary from woman-to-woman although the average loss of blood per period is only 3 tablespoons with an average fluid loss of 6-9 tablespoons since tissue and mucus from the endometrium also comes out with menstrual blood.
Let’s do some quick math! According to the FDA, tampons fall under 5 classifications based on absorbency. “Ultra” tampons are rated for 15-18 grams of menstrual flow. (Note: Mind you, these are VERY rough calculations since conversions between volume/weight is always a nasty thing to do, but it will give you a light concept.) 5 grams is approximately 1 teaspoon. 3 teaspoons is equivalent to 1 tablespoon. Assuming we use the “lowest end” of an Ultra-absorbency tampon absorbing 15 grams of flow, that is 3 teaspoons which is equivalent to 1 tablespoon. If the average menstrual fluid loss per period on the highest end is 9 tablespoons, 9 Ultra-absorbency tampons are enough to absorb all of your period. Please take due caution as I am not recommending this as tampons should be used according to the instructions in the leaflet as well as hygienic practices. Unfortunately, I don’t have an Ultra O.B. tampon so I can’t display the size of it, so the box will have to suffice (as shown below). Maybe I can borrow one from my ex next time I see her… HAH… hope it make her happy that I didn’t post another brand instead 😛
Menstrual flow is not only expelled by force of gravity, but also the contraction of the uterus which helps force decomposed waste/menstrual flow out the body and thus, may results in abdominal discomfort in menstruating women commonly referred to as cramps. The menstrual cycle may not be very accurate for women who have recently reached sexual maturation, the age of menarche. Usually it takes 1-3 years before a woman reaches the stage where the menstrual cycle becomes regular. It is not unusual even for women who have had their menstrual cycle for many years who are not regular or may fall outside of their regular schedule.
Most notably, sexually-active women may fear pregnancy (unless they want a child) when their period is late or perhaps may signal underlying health issues. Nevertheless, periods are rarely 100% accurate and flow will vary even from one menstrual cycle to another.
As you can see guys (and girls I suppose), PMS and menstruation are two different things and although both are “related” since PMS happens prior to menstruation, menstruation CAN exist without PMS-related symptopms. So the next time, when someone talks to you about PMS and menstruation, make sure they are using the right term to describe the right thing! Don’t you think you’d impress your significant other more when you use the right word to describe what she’s going through? I think so 😀 Hopefully this will also provide you with a working-knowledge of PMS and menstruation and to demystify misinformation that often gets injected into male minds about what-is-what!
[This post will be checked by one of my ex’s due to her medical expertise for accuracy :P]
Was looking through some blogs today, and noticed someone (a male.. obviously) advertising this “great” iPhone application called CODE RED. You can see more details about it here, of some which I will cover.
The whole idea of the program is to alert guys of the impending arrival of PMS and a woman’s period. Of course it also covers the various stages of the menstrual cycle from “start to end” – Post-period phase (When everything returns to normal after menstruating), Horny phase (Her hormones are high, time to start banging), PMS phase (Keep your mouth shut), Ovulation phase (Time to start making the kiddies), and On-period phase. While this application seems to have more of an “amusement under-tone to it, certainly, it is a good representation in how the majority of men view menstruation. I can’t say I didn’t chuckle at some of the “notifications” that came up.. like this one for instance:
and also when the red-tide hits the shores…
I absolutely think a couple should have the courage to share intimate details such as this with each other and perhaps, not need to rely on an application to do it for them. I suppose if the true intent of this was a great way for couples to guess ovulation time to conceive, it would have a much more “positive” effect… but then you would use something nice like FertilityFriend. In fact, I used FF for a while to track my Bebe’s period… lol, but I haven’t opened the app for a while – I guess I should (I sure as hell wasn’t tracking on when I could get her pregnant XD). Anyways, you might not be realizing it, but looking at the big picture, men are completely afraid of his partner’s monthly visitor. Hell, not even partner, this could be anyone from mom, sister, aunt, cousin or whatever – but periods to men are a very negative thing. In most cases, guys will be pretty much stop dead in their tracks when it comes to having sex when a girl is on her period… wait, not even sex – let’s say, not even get close to her… as if menstrual blood was the plague or something.
I know this isn’t a full-out written/laid out post, but seeing an app like this makes me acknowledge the fact of why even in 2010, menstruation is such a taboo topic and something where it cannot be discussed frankly and without shame. I don’t doubt that a couple using this app could get a few laughs with the wording of the reminders, especially some of the features like reminders to buy flowers, presents, groceries, etc.
I acknowledge the fact that PMS is no fun and games, both this is true for both the male and female. Would it not be in our hearts, that we sympathize and understand what our significant other (or female counterpart) is going through at this time? Should we not be there to support her, perhaps even suck up a few hits here and there and make her feel comfortable? Come on, read this, get your act together and take care of her like you should! If you’re married, even MORE SO, because you made that vow of marriage with her. If it’s your girlfriend, let her know that you really can care for her, even before the ring goes on her finger. Why is it we fear women so much we must run away in fear when PMS or her period strikes? To quote Russell Peters, “Be a man, do the right thing!”
I know in the past, I’ve had guys disagree with me and say it is probably for the best they stay away to keep out of trouble for 5-7 days… I just think it’s unreasonable, because if you think about it, over 10 years, that’s practically 720 days you’re “ignoring” her… are you willing to WASTE time like this in our already short lifespan? Learn to love your partner, because she really IS worth it… isn’t that why you’re together in the first place? PMS or bloody period or not, us guys should not be high-tailing it, because it just not right.
I promised I’d write this for Poh Ching a long time ago and it’s finally time I live up to this! In this entry, I’d like to take some time to discuss ways to make your girlfriend or wife feel better shortly before or during her period. Let’s face it, most men rather avoid a woman while she is menstruating and that is too bad, because we should not ditch our second half just because she’s bleeding between her legs. Some men are opposed to my way of thinking, “being there for the girl” and rather, feel that they are more of a help if they just stay out of the way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and every girl is different on how she wants to be treated or what makes her feel good. However, this entry will cover some things I feel might be ways you can help comfort your partner. There is no “definitive” way to make her feel good and I can’t say this will work for every girl, but these are things for guys (or girls) to consider. Remember that your commitment to your girlfriend or wife should be just-cause not to feel that you don’t need to be a part of her life every week of a month.
I recently typed up an answer for Yahoo! Answers to any inquiry from a male about what he can say/do for his girlfriend while she is on her period and here’s my reply. It was chosen as the “Best Answer” so I decided it’d be good enough to be reposted:
Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
Really, words mean nothing at a time like that. Also, saying sorry is like something you say at a funeral or something. You shouldn’t be sorry or feel sorry for her that she’s having her period, it is a normal bodily function. Sorry also implies negativity towards periods and it should be necessary that men and women do not view menstruation as some kind of “bad” thing. Take some time to understand her period from both an anecdotal (from her experience) and educational point of view, use books, magazines, articles, online, etc. to find information pertaining to her body and menstruation.
You can’t make the pain she’s going through better, since it is her body, but you can do things that will make her as comfortable as she can be. If she has cravings, let her have it, there’s nothing worse than resisting a craving because all that does is cause crankiness. If there’s something she asks you to do and it’s reasonable, try to accommodate her. A massage, warm bath and just being there for her will do more for her than anything you can say – because actions are what matters. If she’s still capable of going about, take her to do an activity which removes her attention away from her period/pain. While initially she might feel that the pain is disabling her from concentrating on the activity, show enthusiasm, get her into it so she’s not constantly thinking about the pain. I cannot say that this will remove the pain, but it makes no difference whether she’s crunched up and feeling the pain or whether she’s doing something and still feeling it.
Actively helping her out in things she would normally do would help take the stress of her “thinking about her responsibilities”.. if there’s things that need to be done around the house, do it. Your sole goal is to make her feel as relaxed as possible because stress will compound the pain she feels. Helping her feel at-ease will provide a form of stress-relief which will relax muscle tension and potentially reduce the pain (or at least not make it worse).
Let her fall asleep in your arms, skin-to-skin contact with someone she cares about is an excellent psychological relief. Just be remember that you have to be understanding and sometimes be willing to bite your tongue. It doesn’t mean you should AVOID her, but menstruation is very taxing on the body, mind and is triggered by flares of hormones. It is possible she might be more sensitive to things you say or do, especially things that would not normally trigger negative emotions.
If you two are ready to engage in sexual activities, I should suggest to you that one of the best natural pain-relievers for cramps or otherwise painful periods is an orgasm. You can either allow her to do that on her own, or do it for her. She might be resistant to it, but mind you she will be glad afterward because many girls report that an orgasm or sexual stimulation helps alleviate their cramps.
Lucky for you, part of the site I run is “menstruation basics for men” – something that you might be particularly interested in if you are not sure what you can do for your girlfriend while she is on her period. It is menstruation simplified for guys (without gory details) but gives you a good understanding of what menstruation is about. There are also helpful tips on what YOU can do as a boyfriend with contributions from myself, other authors and female posters.
Here’s the most important thing you can say to her, “How can I help you?” … only she will know what you can do to make her feel best!
Beyond that, here are some thoughts about what you can do to make the best of her period:
- Be informed! You’re a much better boyfriend or husband when you understand what she’s going through
- Participate in physical activities with her as exercise tends to reduce cramping or period-pains. Exercise is not something that’s important only when she’s on her period, but also regularly, as moderate exercise throughout the month will help regulate her menstrual cycle and side-effects.
- Avoid expressing your discomfort, grossness or negativity towards menstruation and brush her off. You’re together because you’re supposed to be together for better or worse, not only when you see fit
- Help her pick up her pads and tampons from the store, especially if she’s not capable of doing it herself (Read Feminine Hygiene Basics, Maxi Pad Basics for Men and Tampon Basics for Men)… please get the rights ones so you won’t piss her off even more
- Don’t be greedy, if she needs a “girl’s night out” let her do so and encourage her to enjoy herself!
- Don’t point out the fact that she’s being moody or irritated, you really think she doesn’t know that?
- Steer away from causing more stress than she already has… avoid any “surprizes” or asking for her judgment for any large-scale questions or decisions (When her mind is more clear and her hormones aren’t speaking on her behalf, more rationale decisions can be made)
- Let her indulge, she’s not going to gain 10lbs overnight just because she ate an extra chocolate bar… attempting to act against her cravings is like kicking yourself in the nuts. Even if she’s on a diet or the food is “not the greatest for her” – if it comforts her, you’ve won half the battle, LET HER HAVE IT
- Keep your guy-friends away from her, guys tend to be a bit potty-mouthed when it comes to being sensitive to a girl’s time of the month, so unless you have well-behaved male friends, avoid exposure to social interaction between them and your girl
- Make her a nice warm bath or give her a heating-pad for her pelvic-area as that’ll alleviate the effects of stomach cramps. I remember a not-so-smart guy decided to use a plastic water bottle with hot water poured in it as a replacement… not a good idea. Don’t stick around, let her enjoy the peace and quiet and not feel obligated to you
- Do anything that’ll soften her heart… tell her she’s beautiful (because she is), tell her you love her (because you do) and anything that’ll melt them to little-itsy-pieces
- Lots of girls are hornier during her period – set the mood for her and if she’s willing, you’re in luck
- Although this is not necessarily related to comforting her, remember that it does not mean a girl can not get pregnant during her period
- Give her a lower-back or lower-abdominal massage
- If her conditions require pain-killers, make sure you have them available and offer it to her as necessary
- Take part in her menstrual cycle, talk to her about concerns you may have if you see menstruation being unbearable for her to encourage her to consult a medical professional
- Be aware that sometimes she will do things out of the ordinary because of hormonal fluctuations and don’t take it personally, resist the urge to fight back
- Get her to open-up if you can about her period. It is embedded in most girls that periods should be a hidden thing and an often uncomfortable discussion with men. Getting her to open-up about her period will help you understand what you can do for her and perhaps make her feel more at-ease when she’s on her period around you
- Help her keep track of her period, which might also be in your interest to know when she’s getting close and about to start. If you keep good track, your records might be even better than hers
- In regards to the above point, her period is still her private matter if she talks to you about it. Don’t talk to her friends/family about it unless you know she is comfortable and willing. She trusts you with that information, therefore it is inadvisable to alert others of it
- If she doesn’t want you near her during that time, buy her sex toys or something that allows her to enjoy herself, privately – orgasms relieve cramps, this is scientifically proven
- Fulfill her daily tasks because she probably isn’t up to them… it isn’t going to kill you to do things around the house
- Don’t be flirty, teasing or a pervert – unless she wants you to be – around her during her period, she’s not in the mood to listen to you talk about how hot one of her girlfriends look
I remember having a lot more points than this, but I always forget to jot them down as they come to mind. I’ll add to this as the opportunity presents itself! Here’s your chance to show your girlfriend or wife you really care about her, including menstruation. There’s no excuse to avoid her like the plague, 365 days a year, she’s your girlfriend or wife!
Just to finish it off, found an amusing FML today:
Today, I finally felt ready to take my bra off during sex. My breasts had “deflated” somewhat due to weight loss and I was really self-conscious about them, but my boyfriend insisted I was hot no matter what. When the bra came off, the dick got soft. FML#8793926 (95) On 03/03/2010 at 4:24am
I always wanted to keep this blog “on the main topic” or only post stuff about my own life, but recently I’ve been scouring blogs lately through the great “Tag Surfer” ability and ran into some articles via tags I’m interested in. When I originally started this blog, I never thought I’d be ever referencing someone’s post, but I thought it was a great read, something I have pondered before. In an era where sexuality is no longer a sheltered topic, many still find it uncomfortable to approach certain topics pertaining to themselves. Being in close relationship with many of my female friends, only 3-4 of them (probably less than 5% of female friends that come to my mind) who openly discuss their “personal time alone” with me. Perhaps, one could say that this topic is a highly sensitive topic to be talking with a guy (me) about, but on that same note, at least > 75% of them have no problem telling me their “doings” with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Think about the last time you sat in a highly public area… hrm.. a mall food court. Have you ever overheard or even purposefully listened in on a conversation? You will likely find that at least ONE group is discussing the girl/guy they banged the night before or what plans they have to sleep with a particular individual. Yet, for a girl to feel comfortable enough to discover and explore her own body is an absolute no-no.
I’m one of those very “un-private” people to say the least… and maybe that’s my failing point, but I openly share a lot of things. I’ve had all sorts of socially awkward or embarrassing questions thrown at me before and I think with the exception of being asked something by my parents, I could without turning red, answer a personal question to anyone else. As mentioned by Rhoda, self-exploration of a female’s body seem to still be unacceptable. I have asked some of my girlfriends whether they have bothered exploring their bodies before.. perhaps some ‘touching’ and ‘getting to know yourself’ and many have responded with things ranging from, “Ewww… that’s gross” and “I never touch those areas unless I’m taking a shower.” and it makes me ponder the question how can they survive like that? When I say explore, I don’t mean so much to as to even masturbate, but even just KNOWING what things look like down there would be a good start (and textbooks don’t count). Maybe as a guy, it is almost understood that males are quite attuned to exploring our bodies, but what about girls, what makes them so different that they don’t need to do the same? Mind you the girls who have not mentioned that they ever explored their bodies are girls who I know who have engaged in various sexual encounters, ranging from non-penetrative to penetrative sex. I cannot possibly fathom that they feel so comfortable to engage in such activities, yet to touch themselves makes them want to puke. Maybe as a heterosexual male and a lover of the female body, my opinion might be a bit biased, but seriously, girls who have the most fulfilling sex are ones who know themselves inside-out.
Having a conversation with a girl recently.. let’s call “L.I” (for the sake of her privacy), we were having a keen discussion on her experience with tampons for her period. I was the one who recommended L.I to switch brands recently to O.B (which I was inspired by my ex-ex girlfriend, thanks 😛 ), which unlike applicator tampons required the use of her fingers to insert the tampon into her vagina. She complained to me how she was not used to using her fingers for that and found it “awkward” that she had to touch down there. I asked her, “Do you wash your hands before you insert it?” and she replied, “Yes”… so then I asked her, “What’s the issue then?”. I’m shocked to see a girl of her age, afraid or even shamed to touch her own private areas, especially when it is for the necessity of menstrual hygiene and not “just for fun”. I swear my jaw was open for an entire minute. What surprized me the most was that only 5 minutes before I asked her that, she was telling me how for the first time the previous night, she was playing with her boyfriend’s penis. I cannot help but quote Rhoda on her beautifully-expressed perspective, “Why can pre-teens put a penis in their mouth but are reluctant to look at their own vagina? This is too sad for words.” I asked L.I whether she considered taking some time to understand the area “down there” so she can be comfortable with her own body as it would make it easier for her to insert her tampon, but instead, she just decided it’d be easier to use pads. Now, I’m not saying I have a problem with her going back to pads, but it worries me that she’s that uncomfortable with the thought of knowing the area between her legs that she’d just give up.
The above was just a singular scenario of the many I could lay out. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to retell every story, experience or situation I have pertaining to this 😀 I have always been a proponent of, “The better you understand how your body works, the better you’ll be able to communicate to your significant other how to make you feel good!” I completely agree with Rhoda that many girls often concentrate on satisfying their man more than considering their own needs. What happened to communication before, during and after sex? I think both male and female (in a heterosexual relationship) should be sexually satisfied before “the night is over.” Although the process of ejaculation for a male is physically tiring, all-too-often do I hear about guys who fall asleep without care for their female lover. Didn’t SHE just give you the time of your life, what about returning the favour? Be a man… do the right thing.
The results of a female orgasm whether on her own or with a partner is so important in a woman’s life. I am horrified to hear about girls my age who have never experienced an orgasm prior to meeting their boy/girlfriend. So… you mean you let someone else explore your body before you have done it yourself?! Akin to laughing, I consider an orgasm as a great friend to laughter. If anything, it solves many of lives problems or at least pushes it away for even a moment of time is worthwhile. Rather than being drunk, getting high or tripping on acid, self-gratification can offer that same happiness at no risk, especially because females tend to be moodier than males it acts as a great anti-depressant. Furthermore, I have always been a big fan of advising my close female friends that an orgasmic release is a great way to reduce/eliminate menstrual cramping.
Girls, it is like a guy cheating on you when you decide to fake an orgasm – it is not in the best of your interest or the interest of the relationship. Sex is what brings a couple together and even what breaks people apart. To fake an orgasm is denying your own need of satisfaction and is giving the wrong impression to the guy that he’s “doing a good job” when he really isn’t. Is it acceptable for a guy to tell you he’s going to take out the garbage when he didn’t? Sex involves two (or more, if that’s your thing) people and so does a relationship, so why not work together to create a GREAT sexual experience for everyone? Lying is lying and pretending that “your orgasm” doesn’t matter is a lie.. let your partner know that you’re not satisfied and also, this is where self-exploration and self-understanding comes to play… tell him what makes YOU feel good because after all, YOU should know yourself well enough to express how you want to be pleasured!
I think for a guy, the worst thing that could happen other than being told you’ve just been diagnosed with some dreaded disease, is being asked to buy feminine hygiene products. Regardless of which female companion might be asking this of you, your heart beats rapidly, hands begin to sweat and scenes of embarrassment pop up in your mind. Most would think what self-respecting or macho man would do something like this? Well, think about it this way… if you are really self-respecting and a macho man, then you should also be prepared to ensure the needs of your girlfriend’s, sister’s, wife’s, and/or daughter’s needs are satisfied – after all, that IS what a man of the household does. OK, I’m sure some feminists are going to be on my back asking “Why should a man need to take care of a woman?” – but sorry, that’s just the old-fashion, traditional household setting I’ve been raised with. Regardless, there should be no shame for a man to acquire feminine hygiene products whether regularly as part of the household shopping or whether as a “last minute resort.” I must say, women tend to be fairly good with keep their inventory fairly stocked up and do prepare, so it is unfortunate for them that they must ask you to do it. It hurts them, just as much as it hurts you – literally.
So how/where does a guy begin? First, you can choose to understand just the basics, enough to make the purchase and nothing more. Second, you can choose to understand the concepts and details surrounding your purchase. For starters, we’ll just tackle #1 as it is probably the preferred option for most guys, need-to-know-basis, buy it, get out, and give it to your female requester. For those who choose that option, one thing to note is that you want to do this quickly, but lest I remind you that accuracy is also the key. You don’t want to go back for a second run just because you got the wrong one, so exercise due diligence, otherwise, it would be contrary to getting the job done fast.
Option 1 – Buy it, Get Out:
The best idea before heading to your nearest supermarket is to know exactly what you’re getting. If you’re lucky enough to have an old package lying around, it’ll be pretty easy to determine what she’s going to need and remember it. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t rely so much on just knowing the brand and colour… sometimes colours don’t tell all. A few years ago, Always tried to make their pads “male-friendly” with symbols to help make purchases easy, but phased it out quickly. Here’s a few key things you want to walk out the door with. Please note this chart is very GENERAL and the naming convention/classifications may vary brand-by-brand:
|– What brand?
– Wings or no wings? (No, they don’t fly)
– What thickness? (Usually “thin” or “maxi”)
– What absorbency or size? (Slender, Regular, Heavy, Overnight)
– Special types? (Such as scented/unscented or ones with wipes)
|– What brand?
– Applicator (Plastic/Cardboard) or no applicator?
– What absorbency or size? (Lite, Regular, Super, Super Plus)
– Special types? (Such as compact versions, silk/satin, scented/unscented)
Once you’ve established those key points and perhaps even a photographic memory of the package, you’re almost ready to go! If you’re extra keen, you might want to check with your female companion whether there are any available coupons/specials and then determine where you will be making the purchase. I assure you, pads and tampons are not cheap so you always want to get the best deal! For the extra-shy-guy, you might want to choose a larger supermarket/store that offer “self-checkout”, but for the sake of discussion, let’s assume we will be doing the good ol’ line-up-at-the-counter. While men in general tend not to be very knowledgeable on where the feminine hygiene aisle is located, it is best simply to refer to overhead signs. If you don’t feel like being a browser and feeling gutsy, you could always ask a sales associate. You might want to get a shopping basket if they have one, I think a cart is just a bit weird for a few small items.
Anyways, so here you are, standing in the aisle! Now’s the time to hopefully recall all that information you (should) know! From my experience, most shelves are usually split between pads and tampons, so that will already probably cut your choices by half. I should carefully warn you now that there are SOME stores that also sell (or if you happen down the wrong aisle) male/female incontinence supplies in the same aisle, so be careful you buy items intended for menstruation. Now look for in big letters, the brand that corresponds with your purchase. Now here’s where you might flinch because unless you have really good eyes, might need to close-in a bit and figure out the right type, absorbency and features (features… sounds like buying a T.V!) and then of course, finally decide if this is the one you’re looking for! When you’ve gotten the necessary items (hopefully the correct ones), simply put them in your basket and prepare for your exit.
If you’ve noticed, at no point did I mention the use of any “camouflage” such as buying items that you don’t need to “mask” your real purchase. Unless you actually need it, you are wasting money by doing so. Let’s be honest, I’ve talked to people who’ve worked as cashiers and they know exactly what you’re doing when they see you checking out with 3 huge packages of pads and then a bag of chips. While in the FH aisle, there might also be other people present. Unless otherwise spoken to, there’s no need to engage someone else in conversation because that’s just downright awkward and might cause you to make a scene of yourself. The most I’ve done is just given the girl next to me a smile politely, just to signify I’m not there to stalk her feminine hygiene needs and that’s already enough to make her comfortable. This strategy is similar to that of the cashier. It is a foolish mistake for a man to ever feel the need he needs to justify the purchase he is making. Guys make the mistake of feeling they need to tell the cashier, “I’m buying this for my sister (or fill in whoever)” when they truly do not care. They are there to checkout your items and nothing more. I normally exchange my usual pleasantries as I put the items prominently up on the counter (why bother hiding it?) and hand over any corresponding coupons. Once the items have been rung up, I simply pay for my purchase, have it bagged and leave.
And you’re off! Isn’t it relieving to be done this endeavour? Not only that, but I’m sure your female companion will be extremely grateful for your help! Part of the secret is to purchase feminine hygiene products just as you would of other items. Never in my years of buying these products have I once been questioned about them, in fact, it is likely they’d be more embarrassed to ask (or even risk being disciplined, it is no business of the cashier what your purchases are for from the standpoint of customer service). For those who are doing this for your girlfriend or wife, you are winning big points (probably)! I’ve had girlfriends who’ve made it a point to mention they feel very special when I involve myself with their menstrual needs, as small as knowing what they normally use or even buying it for them when I need to or happen to be in-stores. This might not be case for every female as some still feel it is “their own business” and prefer you not poke your nose in it, but I think most will say it is a very sweet act.
So there you have it guys, a little guide and things for you to consider when purchasing feminine hygiene products! I’ll tackle option #2 at a later time. Of course… here’s the fun part… many of you guys might be “You’ve probably never done this yourself” or “You wouldn’t have the guts”… so here you go… by the way, coupons rock, you can get these products for cheaper than you can buy milk… TWO packs! Look at the date, it is today =) :
Welcome and thanks for taking the time to read this.
I decided rather than putting this in the “About” section to actually make a post about it. For reasons unknown, I have no idea how you stumbled upon my page, whether by random or something caught your eye, but I certainly hope you enjoy your read. Perhaps this site is geared towards the open-minded, so if that’s not you, you might find this blog absolutely unbearable. Anyways, onto what this page will really be about.
As the blog implies, this site will be dedicated to the discussion of “men” in menstruation. Oddly enough, in a modern society where sex, violence, illegal activities, etc. are openly discussed and engaged, many still consider the discussion or so much as to the mention of menstruation or related-topics/items to be taboo. I am lucky, in the sense that many females I have approached about this topic has discussed with me frankly and openly, much to my surprise. Of course, this is not to say I suggest everyone go find your closest female friend and approach them about this topic, but what can I say, a guy like me is lucky to have female friends who are willing to satisfy my curiosity and willingness to learn. I urge you to take due caution in approaching such a topic with a girl unless you are sure they are comfortable with it since after all, it is a personal matter and you should respect the lines when she draws it.
Nevertheless, one must wonder why a male would ever be interested in menstruation? I really wish I could answer you that question. The day I am able to solve that mystery, I will likely be able to tell you the purpose of life. To condense the reason for this blog and intro, I am male and I truly appreciate the process of menstruation and things surrounding it. As a child, I remember sneaking off to the public library (before the internet was available to your average residences) and sheepishly looked up books/information on the female anatomy, specifically concerning menstruation. I may be a pervert, if that is truly how you’d like to label me, but I consider this is be an interest. Much like those who are interested in sports, your field-of-studies, your job, your hobbies – likewise, periods are part of what I consider to be an interest to me.
Throughout my years (ok, well I’m not that old), I have noticed that guys are often evasive towards the idea of periods. I remember in grade 9, during sex-ed class, a guy put up his hands and asked “What is a period?” and quite frankly, his facial expression did not appear he was joking or was trying to cause a scene, he had no idea what it really was. In grade 9, I had assumed that most guys would, even if not in-depth knowledge, know what menstruation was about. At that point, I realized perhaps it was because out of my own curious nature, researched the topic, that I knew quite a bit about it but your general high-school male did not. Honestly, I would dare say that many males might have just a very crude knowledge of it. I’m no doctor and no expert, but I would like to believe (bite-my-tongue) that I am a bit more knowledgeable than your average male about this matter.
I remember when I first realized my interest in menstruation that I was shamed and kept it to myself. Even to this day, there are very few people who know me personally who know of my interest. The number is probably countable using my own two hands and if they do know about it, are likely people who I’ve had a more intimate relationship with, such as ex’s or extremely close friends. This is of course contrary to me being a rather open-person since I’m the type to talk about anything, so the internet is a great place where I can express my thoughts and feelings without the repercussion of embarrassment. When I say embarrassment, perhaps I do not mean it personally, but rather, society has not been very inviting of men being involved in things related to menstruation which leads me to use that word. I am far from embarrassed when I buy feminine hygiene items or the likes.
So why should men be more involved with menstruation? Well, I consider knowledge to be power and I believe that it never hurts to know something. Whether men will ever need to ‘deal with’ menstruation is irrelevant. Sure, I will never get my period, but I do not feel I should be ignorant of such matters. I find it disturbing when guys are evasive about topics such as these and worse, when girls themselves do not seem to know the facts or proper wording. I remember once asking a friend to join me for a swim in which she replied, “Sorry, I can’t because I’m PMS’ing today…” I raised an eyebrow and asked, “You mean you have PMS or that you have your period?” From what I know, I consider PMS ≠Period. Girls, over guys, should definitely know more about their bodies and proper terminologies associated with them. There are many girls (or perhaps the ones I know) who think menstruation is called “PMS”… and really, I don’t think it should, since the medical definitions say otherwise.
I’m open-minded, I really am, in the sense that as male I’ve probably tried all I can within my powers to truly understand menstruation. Again, I’m no scientist, expert or medically-qualified personnel – simply a person with an interest an a goal to expand his knowledge concerning this. This blog at times might become graphic or provide more information than you really want to know, but reading this blog is completely at your discretion. I’m hoping this blog will pull in both male and female readers. On that note, I hope that we can keep comments civilized and that I will monitor/remove offensive posts. I am here to share my view of things in hopes to create a positive community and a place for me to express myself where it is no hindered by my worry that people will know who I am and use it against me.
In terms of how this interest affects my relationships, I’m not sure it would be fair to only ask me. I have had girlfriends who ranged from the “Ya, I can accept this about you” to “I really like the fact you are knowledgeable about it!” I guess I feel rather blessed I have not been with a girl who was completely opposed to my interests thus far and hope to avoid them at all costs, lol. I guess my interest is a part of who I am and to remove that away from me would be trying to change my individuality – contrary to what a relationship should be about. I’m sure that my interest and perhaps even involvement in menstruation may cause some people to rear their heads in disgust, throw their heads up in laughter or nod their heads in approval. I personally believe periods are not one of the more favoured things in life, by males or females, but I choose to learn not only to “know” what it is, but appreciate what females have to go through from their menarche all the way to menopause. Just for laughs, if you can’t tell, I’m one of those guys who really hate menopause =] If you have anything to contribute, please feel free to post or if you’d like me to touch on a certain topic, feel free to pop me a message! I don’t have a definitive update schedule, so just drop in every once in a while to see what’s on my mind.
Cheers and happy reading/commenting!